'Gossip Girl': The (yawn) much-anticipated (yawn) threesome

pennbadgley.jpgThe much-teased three-way hookup on "Gossip Girl" Monday turned out to be just that: a big tease.

As has happened oh, about a thousand times in recent TV history, (over)zealous promotion on a network's part built up a sweeps episode, which caused much ink and many pixels to be expended in anticipation of the allegedly life-altering event. Monday night's "Gossip Girl" had the added juice of the Parents Television Council frothing at the mouth over the episode before having seen it.

The pre-emptive campaign and threats of indecency fines didn't work -- no affiliates or advertisers bailed on Monday's episode. And while the PTC has never met a mildly salacious storyline it didn't love to hate, this one really ended up being a snoozer.

(I'm going to discuss what happened in that portion of the episode now, so if you haven't watched yet and don't want to know, now's the time to click away. Alternately, if you don't want to waste your time on a lame plot thread, please read on.)

The threesome -- which, by the way, was the episode's B-story; the main thread involved Jenny and her society debut -- was the conclusion of a plan by Dan (Penn Badgley) and Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) to get former teenage movie star Olivia (guest star Hilary Duff) to stay at NYU rather than leave school to shoot another "Endless Knights" movie. They decide to give her the quintessential college experience to get her to stay -- and hey, V just happens to have a school paper with a list of 15 things to do before you graduate.

So after a night of beer pong and tequila shots and other youthful shenanigans, Dan announces that they've covered 14 of the 15 things on the list. The only one left? No. 11 -- have a threesome. Everybody is all nervous and laughing, but Olivia kisses Dan, then she kisses Vanessa, and then Dan and Vanessa kiss and then ...

Well, then we cut to about 10 more minutes of the main plot. The last shot of our trio is of all of them asleep (and covered up, incidentally). The "Gossip Girl" powers that be have promised that next week's episode will deal with the fallout, but at this point it's not even certain what happened. The writers have left themselves an easy "I was drunk and don't remember a thing -- did we ...? No? OK" sort of out, and I wouldn't be at all shocked if that's the route they take.

Or no more shocked, anyway, than I was watching the episode.

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